Sinatra and the Godfather
Was Sinatra in cahoots with mobster bosses? Well, Sinatra’s godfather was one Anthony Moretti, an underboss of the Genovese crime family. Sinatra's first wife, Nancy Barbato, was a paternal cousin of John Barbato, a Moretti associate. It was Moretti who helped Sinatra get bookings in New Jersey clubs in return for kickbacks.
When Sinatra got his big break with Tommy Dorsey in 1939 he quickly got so popular that he wanted to wanted to leave Dorsey and go solo. But Dorsey refused to release Sinatra from his existing contract. The rumour was that Sinatra asked Moretti for help, and that Moretti jammed a gun barrel down Dorsey's throat and threatened to kill him if he did not release Sinatra. Dorsey eventually sold the contract to Sinatra for one dollar. Well, you would, wouldn’t you.
Years later when Mario Puzo wrote the Godfather, his singing character Johnny Fontane closely resembled Sinatra. In the movie, Fontane was played by Al Martino, our featured artiste in this week’s Legends of Las Vegas. Listen to his life story along with two hours of the best easy listening music. It’s available wherever you normally get your podcasts or click here to listen now.
Abbey Road Flashback
I’ve just found this floor plan from Abbey Road Studios where I recorded Swingin’ on Broadway in January 2008. I have such great memories of recording this. Click here to listen on Spotify.
New York, New York
Here’s a clip of me singing New York, New York for this year’s annual pops concert on the Crystal Serenity. Great fun.